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Interview: Kelsey Newman

Sunday, October 23, 2011 - 11:19 a.m.

This witness, Kelsey Newman, was identified as the person who took care of the victim's first dog, Emerson, while the victim was out of town in September of 2010. The dog died of unknown causes while in the witness's care. Detectives Armstrong and Murphy conducted the interview at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Office. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.

Participants:

  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Kelsey Newman

Detective Murphy: For the record, could you please state your name and address?

Kelsey Newman: My name is Kelsey Newman. I live at 202 Lane Hills Road in Oxford.

Detective Murphy: You understand why we've asked you to come talk to us today?

Kelsey Newman: Yes, it's about that weekend I watched Emerson.

Detective Murphy: We only have a few questions, so hopefully, we'll be able to get you in and out pretty quickly.

Kelsey Newman: That's OK, I don't mind. What do you want to know?

Detective Armstrong: We want to know what happened. Specifically, how did the dog die?

Kelsey Newman: Nobody seems to know. I put a notice on the board at the Career Center at school. I'm good with pets and make a little money on the side watching them. Kimberly called me and asked me if I could take care of Emerson.

Detective Murphy: When was this?

Kelsey Newman: Last fall, in September.

Detective Murphy: What was the agreement you made with Dr. Pace? Were you just to go by and feed and water the dog or did you stay in her home?

Kelsey Newman: She had a list of things that I needed to do. But mostly, I just needed to go by once a day and feed him and make sure he had fresh water. Nothing complicated really.

Detective Murphy: And you did that? Went by and fed him?

Kelsey Newman: I went there Friday night and checked on him and gave him his food and water. He was cute and we played a little, then I left.

Detective Murphy: And the next day?

Kelsey Newman: OK, I feel guilty enough about this. I didn't get there the next day.

Detective Murphy: Why not? What happened?

Kelsey Newman: I went out that night. Friday, I mean. I guess I had too much to drink... I was sick the next day. I could hardly move. OK, I know how bad that sounds, but really... Anyway, I asked my boyfriend to go by and check on him and I guess he forgot.

Detective Murphy: What is your boyfriend's name?

Kelsey Newman: Ex-boyfriend now. Eric Brandon.

Detective Murphy: Did you go by Dr. Pace's house the day after that? Sunday?

Kelsey Newman: I was still sick. I think I must have had the flu or something. I just couldn't move. I just thought that Eric would go by again because he knew I was sick.

Detective Murphy: Did he go by? Did he tell you he'd checked on the dog?

Kelsey Newman: No. He didn't. He forgot. There was a game or something. He and his buddies were playing basketball. I don't know. I was so pissed at him! We broke up that weekend because, in addition to that, I found out he was seeing another girl. What a jerk! Anyway, I dragged myself over there on Monday morning and... I'm sorry, I still cry when I think of it. The poor dog. I felt so horrible.

Detective Armstrong: What condition did you find the dog in?

Kelsey Newman: Dead! He was covered in flies, his eyes were open, his tongue hanging out of his mouth. He looked horrible. I had to call Kimberly and try to explain, but she just freaked out. She was so furious, I thought she was going to get me put in jail or something. I called the vet, but it was early and I only got his service. I called Kimberly's sister, but I got her voice mail too. I just couldn't reach anybody. It was hell.

Detective Murphy: When was Dr. Pace due back in town?

Kelsey Newman: Um... I think it was either late that Monday night or the next morning. I don't really remember now.

Detective Armstrong: What happened when Kimberly returned to town?

Kelsey Newman: I don't know. She told me to leave her key under the lawn gnome and never to call her again. I heard later that she accused her neighbor of trying to poison the poor dog, but I think she was just distraught.

Detective Armstrong: So you didn't think anyone had done anything to the dog?

Kelsey Newman: Who knows? I screwed up so badly and felt so guilty, I just don't know what I thought. I was just horrified by the whole thing. Nothing like that had ever happened to me. I tried to apologize and make it up to Kimberly, but she wouldn't even return my calls.

Detective Armstrong: Did you ever talk to Kimberly again after that?

Kelsey Newman: Yes, I ran into her on campus a few months after that. She seemed OK then. She told me not to feel guilty, that she knew it wasn't my fault. She even apologized for having freaked out so much.

Detective Armstrong: Did she offer any explanation for her change of heart?

Kelsey Newman: She said she knew who did it, and she was keeping an eye on him. She also told me she got another dog, and he was really cute and fun. She just seemed over it, I guess.

Detective Murphy: Aside from the dog incident, do you know anything else about Dr. Pace's relationships?

Kelsey Newman: Me? Oh no, not anything at all. She had a cute boyfriend. Paul Evans. He's kind of a local artist around here. A lot of the girls though she was pretty lucky, but anything I might have known about her was just rumors, you know? Nothing I could say for sure.

Detective Murphy: What kind of rumors?

Kelsey Newman: Oh, about her and some of her students. Some guys were saying that she was coming on to them, but that's just bull. Like she'd be interested in them when she had somebody like Paul. Get real!

Detective Armstrong: Any other rumors you heard?

Kelsey Newman: Oh you mean that bull that Carter was trying to push on people? Like she'd sell grades? Give me a break. It wasn't her style. I wish teachers would sell grades, would make it so much easier to get through the year around here. Sorry, no such luck. It ain't happening, you know?

Detective Armstrong: Uh-huh. When was the last time you saw Kimberly?

Kelsey Newman: The last time I saw her was a few days before she died. Just walking across campus. We didn't talk though. I don't think she even saw me.

Detective Armstrong: Anything else you can tell us?

Kelsey Newman: I don't think so.

Detective Murphy: OK, Kelsey, if we have any further questions, we'll contact you.

Kelsey Newman: Yes, ma'am.

End interview 11:40 a.m.

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